Right now, the enthusiast world is still brimming with excitement over the 2023 Toyota GR Corolla. The 300-horsepower, all-wheel-drive hot hatchback officially debuted late on March 31 but that's not the only recent Corolla news. Just prior to the GR Corolla's launch, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shared something a bit less exciting, but likely of greater interest to Corolla buyers in general.
For 2022, the Corolla sedan and hatchback receive the organization's Top Safety Pick+ award. It's the highest rating available for a passenger vehicle, and is only awarded when a vehicle meets numerous crash standards while offering certain safety systems and decent lighting. Specifically, Top Safety Pick+ winners must have good ratings in six crash evaluations for side and roof structures, head restraints, and multiple front collision tests.
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On the tech side, vehicles must offer some measure of a frontal crash prevention system good enough to garner an advanced or superior rating. It must achieve those ratings for both car and pedestrian crashes, though it's worth noting that IIHS doesn't require the tech to be standard equipment. As for lighting, headlights across all available trim levels must have at least an acceptable rating.
Gallery: 2021 Toyota Corolla Hatchback Special Edition
With a starting price of just over $21,000 in sedan trim, the 2022 Corolla comes standard with the company's Safety Sense 2.0 system that includes frontal crash detection and prevention, among a host of other safety systems. The Corolla Hatchback offers the same standard equipment at a slightly higher starting price of $21,940. Regardless of the body style, the Corolla uses a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine making 168 horsepower (125 kilowatts). It drives the front wheels through a CVT, and the result is a non-hybrid vehicle that can achieve a combined 41 mpg rating in hatchback form.
Whether or not the hotter GR Corolla receives the same Top Safety Pick+ rating remains to be seen. It's built from the hatchback, but the body receives additional strengthing as part of its performance upgrade. It should meet lighting and technology requirements, as Toyota's new Safety Sense 3.0 system comes as standard equipment.